Residents of five jurisdictions in Maryland would pay more in sales or gas taxes to fund transit projects under dueling proposals sponsored by two rural Republican state senators.
Sens. Richard Colburn and George Edwards are each proposing increases to the sales tax of between one-half to one penny. Edwards has also proposed a more than 2 percent sales tax on gasoline.
All of the proposed taxes would affect only residents of Baltimore City and of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The money would go to fund transit projects in the respective jurisdictions.
Colburn, a five-term Republican from the Eastern Shore, is proposing increasing the sales tax a full penny to 7 percent in those jurisdictions. The money would be placed into a regional transit account and used to pay for projects including subway and lightrail systems in those counties.
Edwards, an two-term Republican from western Maryland, proposes increasing the sales tax in those same jurisdictions by one-half a penny with the money going to transit projects.
A second proposal sponsored by Edwards would impose a 2.1 percent sales tax on wholesale gas sales in those five jurisdictions. Money generated from the tax would go to transit projects.
All three bills were introduced in advance of Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to phase in a 6 percent tax on wholesale gas sales over three years across the entire state, not just in five jurisdictions. The governor outlined the plan during his State of the State address but has yet to introduce a bill.